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Album Review: Catfish and The Bottlemn - 'The Balcony' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sam Lightle   
20 09 2014
ImageThis is impressive. If you were to just turn on this LP for the first time completely unaware of who they were, you'd think Catfish and The Bottlemen had been around for a while; when in fact this is their debut LP.

The four-piece from Wales, have created an album which brings to life a post-Libertines collection of tracks, that pose for a great listen. But of course that's always going to be the case with any debut indie album these days... 

The tracks are easy to relate to and are bound to connect with the audience.But let's not forget the vocals of frontman Van McCann and the importance of being able to pull off the ‘frontman' tag that has become such a vital role in bands as decades have gone past. His raw vocal ability in the LP's opening track ‘Homesick' poses for an eerie listen with many gentle touches. 

However, quite brilliantly ‘Hourglass' gives us a different perspective on the bands ability to produce rocking music - the semi-acoustic track harbours soft elements, combine with gutsy bass lines.

It would be easy to compare Catfish and the Bottlemen to other bands, as that's seemingly what us music reviewers do but it's hard not to as they're music is good, but there is nothing amazing or undiscovered that the band have hidden away in this debut LP. It doesn't try to open or start anything it; it simply carries on what has already been done. And this is continued in ‘26' which has The Cribs and Kaiser Chiefs comparisons written all over it. 

ImageHaving said that, ‘The Balcony' does look after a few belters that are worthy mentions, ‘Kathleen' is a rocking track that has a great sing along chorus, while ‘Cocoon', is simply just as upbeat and intense that seems to be sung at a double quick speed. ‘Fallout' on the other hand is an honest track by McCann. His purposeful vocal really touch the heart as each word has a specific meaning. 

‘Tyrant' is a fabulous album closer that is funnily enough the LP's longest track, a telling message that they simply didn't want it to end. Nevertheless it's packed with pumping drums and iconic guitar sounds. 

Overall, ‘The Balcony' vocally and harmony wise is great but in terms of originality; there's little. 

4/5

Release date: September 15, 2014
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